Japan’s Peach Aviation said it had ordered 10 fuel-efficient Airbus A320neo passenger jets and three older versions of the jet, for a total of $1.3 billion at list prices, as part of its business expansion plans.
The Japanese budget carrier in a press release said it will begin introducing the new planes from 2019. It currently operates 18 older A320s.
The order will help Airbus in its race against Boeing in Japan, where the latter is a bigger player with its strong ties to local aerospace firms such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that build significant portions of its jetliners. The deal is, however, smaller than some had expected.
On Thursday, industry sources told Reuters that Airbus had spent months trying to sell dozens of A320neo passenger jets to Peach Aviation.
Peach Aviation, which is 39 percent owned by ANA Holdings , Japan’s biggest airline, began flying in 2012 from Kansai in western Japan.
Last year it started flying to Tokyo’s Haneda airport and plans to open services to Sendai in northeast Japan in the business year starting April and to the northern island of Hokkaido in the following twelve-month period.
“The A320neo will be used as a part of the introduction of new aircraft for Peach’s business expansion,” the company said in the release on Friday.
The order from Peach Aviation will take Airbus nearer to its target to sell 670 planes this year in the global market that is seen as somewhat oversupplied with jets. At the end of October, Airbus was 85 aircraft short of its aim.